Hilda Mae Stafford Cook went home to meet her Lord on Friday, March 17,2023, after a brief illness.

Hilda was born October 17, 1935, at home in Millersville to Dewey and Blanche Stafford. Growing up in Hickory, she played softball, basketball, and the organ.

She is survived by her husband of 72 years, Clyde Thompson Cook. After starting their family in Hickory, Clyde and Hilda moved in 1964 to their farm in Grace Chapel – what Hilda called, “Almost Heaven.” While raising family, blood and found, Hilda worked nearly 20 years at Pellcare Nursing Home as the dietary supervisor. Clyde and Hilda enjoyed years of square dancing, with the Unifour Squares. Naturally shy, Hilda said the “frilly outfits bring out the daring in all of us.” Throughout her life, Hilda was a renowned baker of biscuits and cakes, cobblers and pies. She was a meticulous seamstress, making dresses for herself and her daughters and shirts and vests for her husband and sons. She had a legendary green thumb and canned prodigiously. She loved her flowers—daffodils, roses, star hibiscus, and her many hanging baskets and containers. Her golden soprano joined Clyde’s baritone in beautiful harmony on gospel hymns and traditional mountain tunes. Some of her happiest times in recent years were spent with her great-grandchildren and her beloved pets.

Hilda was preceded in death by her parents; her siblings Betty Sue Pearce, Claude Stafford, and Elizabeth Hanson; and her first son, Lewis Cook.

Family left to cherish her memory include Sharon and Monty Poarch, Jordan and Brooklyn Rice, Steven and Rebekah Poarch, Aeva and Ella, Cooper and Isaac; Aaron and Wendy Cook, Sarah and John Torbush, Abigail and Sage, Katie Jenkins, Caroline and Evan; Lisa Cook and Arianna Pappas; Brandon and Amber Cook, Zack, Bryce, and Ayden; Dare Cook; Gabriel Cook; and Janet Robbins.

Guided by faith, Hilda treasured her family, saying they are only “lent to us for a while,” believing we are to “nourish and cherish them, dedicate them back to our Lord.”

A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 11:00 AM at Chapel Church in Hickory with Pastor Dale Watts officiating. Interment will follow at Dudley Shoals Baptist Church Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Humane Society of Catawba County at PO Box 63, Hickory, NC 28603.

Mackie Funeral Service in Granite Falls is assisting the family.